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Fowl Pest

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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59.

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the recent outbreaks of fowl pest in Cheshire can be traced to waste containing imported carcases.

No definite connection between these outbreaks and imported poultry carcases has been established, though in three of the five primary outbreaks, the birds had access to waste foodstuffs some of which may have either contained or been contaminated with imported material.

60.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what precautions he proposes to take to guard against fowl pest through the importation of carcases in the future.

Fowl pest may be spread from infected carcases either by the feeding of raw scraps to poultry (which is illegal) or by physically transferring the virus to poultry food by the hands or otherwise. All poultry carcases from the Continent of Europe are eviscerated and have their heads and feet removed before importation. If, therefore, reasonable care is taken to prevent the contamination of poultry food, the risk of the disease being spread through imported carcases is small. Most of the recent outbreaks have been on the premises of domestic poultry keepers, and my right hon. Friend is arranging to give publicity to the need for them to exercise care when handling the carcases of purchased poultry. My right hon. Friend does not consider that any other special steps are possible at the present time.